Saturday, 14 December 2019

Saturday 14th December - The Old Master

Blimey, in ten days it will be Christmas Eve! Where has the month gone?  Time flies when you're, well, obviously not having fun, maybe sobbing so much your face is all slimy?  Anyway, let's crack on with today...

The Old Master (1883) James Hayllar
Here we have a cheery scene of a funeral - the lady in the chair is the widow, her daughter behind her and the men in the room are, presumably, members of staff who have come to pay their respects.  The coffin, in the middle of the room, is open, a sheet covering the body.  There is a quiet dignity to the scene - leading you to believe that the dead man was beloved by all.  Well, I say that but the two men on the far right might be muttering to each other 'I just came to make sure the old sod was dead...'

The Lord is my Shepherd, or in this case, Gary...
No, I'm sure the dead chap was marvellous.  Just look at the shepherd-type person who has come to pay his respects, complete with smock.  That's some top quality, traditional mourning going on there.  It might be a reference to Psalm 23 'The Lord's My Shepherd'.  Is it like chimney sweeps at weddings? Is it lucky to have a shepherd at your funeral?  Well, obviously, at a funeral 'lucky' is a relative term, but I'm sure everyone feel lucky to have seen Gary the Shepherd at a party as he is a hilarious party animal.  Well, obviously not in this case - a time and a place, and all that...

 Plants on windowsills are always interesting in  pictures because they are rife with meaning.  I wonder if that is meant to be a geranium on the ledge?  They symbolize melancholy, which would fit.  Red geranium also symbolize good health, which is a tad ironic, given the circumstances.  Mind you, the departed might have been a man who enjoyed very good health, never happier than when he indulged in his favourite sport, nude hang-gliding.  That was how he died, unfortunately.  It also explains the sheet half way up the coffin.  Nevermind, he died doing what he loved.  Who could ask for more?

See you tomorrow...


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Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx